Neymar: Brazil can win World Cup for injured star - Thiago Silva

Archive: Zuniga challenge ends Neymar's World Cup

Brazil captain Thiago Silva called on his team-mates to win the World Cup for injured star Neymar after the forward was ruled out of the tournament.

The 22-year-old scored four goals in five matches before breaking a vertebra in his spine during the quarter-final win against Colombia.

Silva said: "Neymar is very important for our group, we depend a lot on him.

"But potentially this situation can mark a revolution for us, like 'let's win the Cup for Neymar'."

Fans gather outside the Sao Carlos hospital in Fortaleza
Fans and the media gathered outside the Sao Carlos hospital in Fortaleza

Silva, who will also miss the semi-final against Germany on Tuesday 8 July after picking up his second booking of the tournament in the win over Colombia, added: "In tough times it is when the team shows its strength."

Brazil and Barcelona forward Neymar was carried off on a stretcher in the 88th minute of the 2-1 victory.

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He was then taken to the Sao Carlos hospital in the host city of Fortaleza, where Brazil supporters gathered outside.

"It's hard because it's a mixed feeling. It's a moment of joy and one hour later a moment of sadness for people, because he is our main player," said fan Fernando Oyama.

"But I think that during our difficult time we will find the strength to overcome this."

Flavia Marques, another supporter who was outside the hospital, added: "We are a bit sad because we don't know how it will end. We tried to come here to see him but didn't manage to see him. We are sad, we don't know how it will be from now on."

Neymar, who signed for Spanish giants Barcelona for £48.6m in June 2013, will not need surgery, but is expected to be out for four weeks.

Paris St-Germain defender Silva was measured in his criticism of Colombia's Juan Zuniga, whose challenge put Neymar in hospital.

"He is not a bad guy. But at that moment he wasn't very prudent, he could have held up a bit, fouled in a different way," Silva said.

Mesut Ozil Twitter
Germany and Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil was among those who tweeted about Neymar

Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo took no action over the challenge from Napoli defender Zuniga, who insisted: "It was a normal move, I never meant to hurt a player."

Neymar scored twice in the opening group game against Croatia before adding two more against Cameroon.

He also scored a penalty in the shootout win against Chile, and made Silva's opener against Colombia before picking up his injury.

"We'll miss Neymar," team-mate Oscar said.

Neymar at the World Cup
Matches played5
Minutes played457
Attempts on target72.2%
Goals scored4

"The best thing we do is play as a team and I just hope that whoever comes in plays well."

Brazil forward Jo tweeted:external-link "We had a great victory but also a great loss. Have strength Neymar, we partner with you always." Midfielder Willian added:external-link "Have strength brother. Neymar we are together with you, we love you."

Germany's Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil said: "Neymar, I am unhappy Get well soon."

The president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, also took to social media to send a message to the injured footballer, writing: "All our support to @neymarjr! #ForcaNeymar."

Brazil v Germany will be live on BBC One on Tuesday, 8 July from 20:30 BST